The world continues to face a global health crisis in the form of COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. Taking the right preventive measures is more important now more than ever.
It is important that you wear a medical mask to protect yourself when you are taking care of a person with suspected or infected patients, or when you are sick to stop spreading the virus. However, if you do not ensure proper wearing of the mask, this preventive effort will ultimately prove ineffective. For that reason, here are some steps you should take to make sure that you are wearing a medical mask right.
Wear a Mask White Side In, Coloured Side Out
Before you even put on a medical mask, ensure that you have cleaned your hands using an alcohol-based rub or with soap and water. Once it is done, put on the mask. Make sure that you are wearing it white side in, and coloured side out. The main reason behind this is because the outer blue or green layer is hydrophobic, meaning that it is able to prevent external germ-containing moisture from sticking to it.
It is equally important for you to make sure that the elastic bands, which enable the mask to wrap around your face, sit snugly around the shape of your ears. Also, ensure that the mask completely covers your nose, mouth and chin, and that the metal strip at the top part of the mask moulds itself to the bridge of your nose.
Avoid Touching the Mask Once You’ve Put It On
The mask is in place, and wrapped around your face completely. But the spread of germs can still happen, especially if you touch the mask frequently. There are a couple of reasons as to how this can happen, the first being habit, and secondly, you may be still getting used to how the mask is supposed to fit around your face.
Oftentimes, touching the mask will move it from its original snug position around your face. This could create openings between your face and the mask, potentially increasing your risk of exposure through contact with the skin of your fingers. Going about your daily routine could involve visiting various public places, such as the office, grocery store, or even the bank. This in turn could involve your hands coming into contact with different surfaces, which are hubs for bacteria and germs. This is the main reason why you should avoid touching your mask after you have put it on. If you must touch your mask, ensure that you clean your hands with an alcohol-based rub or with soap and water beforehand.
Dispose of Mask As Soon As It Starts to Feel Damp
A medical mask should not be used for no more than a day, under any circumstances. Similarly, you should replace a medical mask as soon as it starts to feel damp, especially if you have been exposed to a number of different surroundings during the day. Do not hesitate to also replace the mask immediately if it is damaged or soiled.
Before anything else, ensure that you have cleaned your hands using an alcohol-based rub or soap and water before attempting to remove the mask. At all costs, avoid touching the external surface of the mask, as it could potentially house germs which are related to the disease. Medical masks with ear loops should be removed by gently lifting both loops off your ears, while masks with ties should be removed by first untying the bottom bow before untying the top bow, and rapidly pulling the mask away from your face as soon as both bows are loosened. Once the mask has been removed from your face, fold it outwards, ensuring that the external layer of the mask has been concealed. Next, put the used mask in a bag, seal it, and dispose it in a trash bin with a lid. Be sure to also clean your hands thoroughly again thereafter.
Remember, folks, taking the right preventive measures to reduce chances of contracting this virus is extremely crucial, as clearly indicated by the number of affected individuals increasing by the folds daily. Rest assured, if you continue practicing all the recommended preventive measures, it will soon turn into a habit, which will provide your body with a shield of protection as we all continue to weather the storm brought upon by COVID-19. Stay safe, people.